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Karen Grace
Hello Beth/ everyone,

One of my student's E string occasionally sounds what I can only describe as 'gurgly'. It tends to happen when she is not bowing straight, or not bowing in the right place with the right pressure & speed etc. But I wonder if it is also something else- a cheap string misbehaving? It only happens on her E string, and I have rarely heard this on other violins. Does anyone have any insight into this? Whilst I think it's partly her techinique, if it's also her string, I would rather her not have a string 'handicap' on top of the other challenges of learning violin. Are there certain brands of strings that are known to have these faults? Any other insights? 

On a similar note, one of my other students often gets a big squeak on his E string - it became a problem when he was attempting a 3-string-double-stop- nearly every time he bowed onto the E string with gusto there would be a loud squeak- and it happened when I played his violin too with this technique. Whilst this very occasionally happens with my violin, it was happening with his a lot. Cheap string?

Should I try and capture these things happening and post a video if any of this is not clear?

Thank you in advance,


Karen Grace
4 Responses
Posted: January 9, 2019
Last Comment: January 11, 2019

Karen Grace
Posted: January 11, 2019
Thanks Beth/Janice and Dianne

This is all really helpful.

I had never actually heard of a wolf tone(!), but having googled it, and found this video, that's exactly what the gurgling one is. I'll first change the string- if that doesn't fix it, I'll send her to a luthier.

As regards the whistling, I'll try all your advice Dianne- thank you.


Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 10, 2019
Karen, I would replace the E string to rule out if it's the fault of the string or if it's something else. If it still gets the gurgling sound it could be the instrument. Could be a wolf tone... I'd start there tho.

Janice Branley
Posted: January 10, 2019
Hi Karen,
I had some e string issues for a while.  I loosened the string and re-wound it on the peg so that it was no longer touching the inside of the peg box. 
I hope you find out what is causing it, because the e string is so lovely, when it behaves!

Posted: January 9, 2019
Hi Karen, the 2nd one sounds like it could be a whistling E, and the 1st possibly a setup issue- this is just a guess. Here are some ideas to check that have come up in the Vlab discussions:
gurgly sound:
change E string if old
check position of string protector on bridge
check that string adjuster nut is not loose
check nut groove for E string
check bridge groove for E string
check for overall bridge straightness
check for loose chin rest hardware
check bowing technique
use more bow tilt
use more bow speed
bow closer to bridge
whistling prone E string
perhaps get a non-whistling E (Warchal Amber)